By Robbie Bannatyne
With the mega fight between Floyd Mayweather Jnr and Manny Pacquiao barely a month away, it is nearly time for the talking to stop and the action to start. For a match up that has been 5 years in the making, there really is not much left to say.
As far as the Mayweather vs Pacquiao fight is concerned, boxing writers are now all walking on the same beaten track, laboring to find a fresh angle or new topic to explore.
However, while we wait for the 1st bell to sound, the dichotomy of opinion between the boxing experts and the impartial fans is an avenue I personally haven’t seen anyone else explore.
In almost every notable opinion poll among the fans, Manny Pacquiao is the favourite to dethrone Floyd Mayweather, yet the vast majority of boxing insiders have picked Mayweather to prevail on May 2nd. It seems the hope of the fans contrasts sharply with the sober expectation of the experts, who insist Mayweather is just too damn clever to have his wings clipped by the Filipino warrior.
The will of the people favors a fairy tale Pacquiao victory but the wisdom of the wise reads from the familiar script of a Floyd Mayweather win by unanimous decision.
The head overrules the heart even among experts who are cautiously optimistic that Pacquiao can actually cause an upset. Just as they warm to the notion of a historic Pacquiao conquest, they quickly drag themselves from their romantic delusions, reverting to the rationality of the rhetoric that Mayweather is far too defensively sound and intellectually savvy to fall on Pacquiao’s sword.
It is close but no cigar, they say.
The morose tone in which the experts- current and past fighters- deliver their final verdict suggests Mayweather is destined to triumph whether we like it or not.
The conventional logic tells us- the fans – to throw our faith in the hands of those who have forgotten more about boxing than we will ever know.
Yet to resign ourselves to a Pacquiao defeat before the ding of the 1st bell would be doing a massive disservice to the legendary Filipino fighter. Sure, Mayweather’s appreciation of the sweet science borders on witchcraft but Pacquiao is not far behind him in the talent and skill departments. Pacquiao is a perpetual motion machine that possesses the tangible traits of; southpaw stance, ring intellect, power, blinding speed of foot and hand, and stamina that no other fighter has ever brought to the table against Mayweather.
Moreover, whilst Mayweather’s rear guard may be the envy of Israel’s Iron Dome defence system, if one fighter can penetrate the seemingly impregnable Mayweather defence then it is Manny Pacquiao.
However, the marriage of Mayweather’s defensive wizardry and his undefeated record seems to have induced cognitive dissonance among the experts, who hold fast to the belief that Mayweather’s genius makes a Pacquiao victory on May 2nd an impossibility.
Whilst focussing on Mayweather’s obvious greatness, many of the experts may have forgotten the fact that if you were asked to build a boxer with the abilities to beat to Mayweather the prototype would look exactly like Pacquiao, from the ‘Jinkee’ tattoo to Freddie Roach as the trainer.
On May 2nd do not be surprised if the hope of the fans confounds the expectations of the experts.
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